Joyless, Angry, Judgemental

Freedom of speech is not in anyone’s gift

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I will admit to being a fairly cynical person. Anyone who reads this blog will know I’m pretty sure that those who rule us are determined to keep their privileged positions in our society by whatever means necessary. I studied History at undergraduate level and as a postgraduate and have taught the subject for a quarter of a century. I am unpersuaded by the Whig interpretation that sees History as progress towards democracy and liberalism. I like Marxist methodology and some Marxist economics but, again, I am not persuaded that History will culminate in some classless society. Still less am I convinced by the eschatological delusions of the various Abrahamic religions. However, compared to some of the cynicism I read online, I am a wild optimist of the Professor Pangloss variety. Continue reading “Joyless, Angry, Judgemental”

The $22,000 Fidget Spinner

The wastefulness of the obscenely rich

There are few things guaranteed to upset me more than the arrogance, vulgarity and sheer sense of entitlement displayed by the global super rich. Ipswich’s repeated failure to return to the Premier League and the existence of Victoria Beckham are the only things I can think of that give me similar attacks of rage. So, you can imagine the spike in my blood pressure when I heard about a fidget spinner for sale at $22,000 (£13,000). It reminded me of the time back in the 1980s when Mike Tyson paid £650,000 for a watch. It demonstrates clearly that the obscene wealth enjoyed by some of the global rich is also obscenely wasteful  – as well as being economically illiterate and environmentally unsustainable. Continue reading “The $22,000 Fidget Spinner”

Tawdry, Vulgar, Mediocre

Celebrity culture at its worst

It’s hard. It’s very hard. No matter how you try, it is almost impossible to avoid celebrity culture. By a strange kind of osmosis, you become aware of people who are simply famous for being famous – Kardashians, people who have appeared on “talent” shows, so-called “WAGS” (why in this day and age would someone want to be famous because they are the wife or girlfriend of a sports star?) – even if you never watch the braindead television shows they appear on. As ever, our American friends are ahead of the rest of the world, having elected as their president a man whose main claim to fame is appearing on a reality TV show. But where America leads, the UK is sure to follow. Which brings me neatly to Pippa Middleton. Continue reading “Tawdry, Vulgar, Mediocre”